Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Rasmus, Cecil

The Jays avoided arbitration by signing Colby Rasmus to a one year deal, with Shi Davidi saying the Jays will use this season to evaluate his progress before they decide whether to let him walk or not.

The Toronto Blue Jays announced Friday that they have avoided arbitration with all three of their arbitration-eligible players. Centre fielder Colby Rasmus agreed to a one-year deal worth $7 million, while reliever Brett Cecil agreed to a one-year, $1.3-million deal and swingman Esmil Rogers agreed to a one-year $1.85-million contract.

Rasmus will become a free agent once his one-year contract expires, but Cecil and Rogers will remain under long-term control. The Blue Jays can keep the relievers through the 2016 season (full primer on their cases here).

Teams have until 1 p.m. EST on Friday to exchange filing numbers with players. The process typically leads to a flurry of one-year deals and multiyear extensions around MLB. Players who do not settle exchange figures with teams. Those formal bids shape later discussions and, in some cases, hearings in front of arbitrators.

Players with three to six years of service time are eligible for salary arbitration if they aren’t already under contract. Some players with two-plus years of service are also eligible for the process, which is shaped by precedent and favours old-school statistics such as RBI and pitcher wins (full explanation here).

The Blue Jays, who last went to an arbitration hearing in 1997, are typically a ‘file and trial’ team. This means the club does not negotiate one-year deals between the filing deadline and the date of the scheduled hearing. However, multiyear negotiations can take place during that window.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported the agreements.

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